Mar 23, 2014

Stay Present. Staying Sane. (A Repost from Tumblr.)

I started a Tumblr. account a few months ago because someone said I just had to. He was so adamant I figured I'd look into it. I decided I'd use it for shorter blog posts and mostly yoga musings. Shorter posts, okay, but longer posts, well this site has been my brain dump for a lot of years, so I feel that this particular post so live here. So here's a post from about a month ago that actually ties in nicely to the dharma talk post I just put up. Or maybe I just talk about the same things. Either you go:

“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” ― Laozi

Yoga philosophy talks a lot about staying the present moment. It’s part of yoga’s basic purpose - to stop the fluctuations of the mind (yoga chitta vritti nirodha). It’s a fact that this is pretty hard to do, but like many lessons in life, they are only truly learned when experienced. You can tell me all you want that I should stay present, that living in the past or the future is not going to do anything to help my mental state now, but last night, for the first time, I really truly felt this. (Not to say I am going to be any better at it, but the universe painted a nice picture for me.)
Battling an epic week of the ever-fun PMS, last night I sat across from a man that I am in love with, in tears. There was no rationalizing away the emotions, my hormone-soaked brain was going to do as it pleased. But when I woke up this morning, I realized that the two things I was upset about were not happening right now. I was anxious about something that happened in the past and sad about something looming in the distance. (So, opposite of Laozi’s quote, but same-same in the end.) If I had just stopped at looked at my present situation, I would have seen everything was good in that moment. 
We can’t control what the future holds. We can try to affect it, be the best people we can, and hope for the best, but that’s different than attaching yourself to a certain outcome. Life is going to hand you what it hands you and it’s how you deal with it that makes who you are. And hey, not every present moment is good. So it’s not to say that if you can manage to live in the moment you are always going to be a perfectly happy person. Sometimes the present is hard. But it’s where you are and it’s what you have. The past is gone. That doesn’t mean it’s forgotten, but it’s not meant to be clung to either. 
Hormones aside, I could have saved myself a bit of heartache last night. But the best part about life is that we get to try again each day. :)

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